Governments, the healthcare sector and pharmaceutical companies need to focus on improving awareness and developing more effective treatments in order to fight alcohol addiction, suggests a new report by healthcare intelligence provider GBI Research.
The new report* suggests that high relapse rates are making alcohol abuse a tough opponent to beat, despite increasing societal awareness of the danger of excessive drinking.
The compulsive consumption of alcohol can destroy a person’s health through direct physical illnesses such as liver disease, and indirectly through its reinforcement of risk-taking behaviors, as well as cause damage to relationships and social standing. The World Health Organization (WHO) claim that around 140 million people suffer from alcohol dependence globally, resulting in 2.5 million deaths each year, while the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs have rated alcohol as more harmful than heroin, amphetamines and crack cocaine.
The growth of the problem is evidenced by the numbers. The global alcohol dependence therapeutics market was valued at $126.3m in 2004, growing at a CAGR of 12.3% to reach $284m in 2011. The market is estimated to reach revenues of $645m by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 12.4% between 2011 and 2018.
Three FDA–approved medications are available for treating alcohol dependence: Vivitrol, Campral and Antabuse. Vivitrol prevents the excessive release of dopamine and takes away the pleasurable feeling from drinking, while Campral restores normal functioning to brain chemicals that may become unbalanced through alcohol abuse. Antabuse is used to create sensitivity to alcohol, which results in unpleasant physical symptoms when alcohol is ingested.
According to the report, current drug treatments for alcohol dependence generally have limited effectiveness due to compliance issues. Therefore, opportunities exist for pharmaceutical companies to improve patient compliance through novel methods of drug delivery, such as extended release formulations.
NDA-filed drug Selincro aims to offer a new treatment paradigm by focusing on a reduction in alcohol consumption rather than total abstinence. However, there are no plans to release this drug in the US, while both short-term uptake and ACT are likely to be low.
Despite strong growth in the alcohol dependence therapeutics market over the last eight years, the report indicates that the treatment-seeking rate for alcohol dependent individuals is expected to remain relatively low compared to the perceived number of those affected, perhaps due to the fact that ‘alcohol dependence’ is often poorly defined by global healthcare systems.
NOTES TO EDITORS
*Substance Abuse Therapeutics Market to 2018 - Effective Drug Therapies in the Treatment of Alcohol and Opioid Dependence Offer Significant Market Opportunities
The report provides insights into the substance abuse therapeutics market, including market forecasts up to 2018, and an in-depth analysis of the major substance abuse indications, which include nicotine addiction, alcohol dependence and opioid and cocaine abuse. It additionally gives insights into the substance abuse therapeutics R&D pipeline, and analyzes the competitive landscape through the analysis of M&A and licensing deals.
The report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research and in-house analysis by GBI Research’s team of industry experts.
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